Earlier this week we posted about the possible evictions of the persons camping on the guard rail outside of the Share House. I am HAPPY and proud to say that these evictions will NOT be happening at this time!
For those who don't know, camping on the streets around Share House never used to be allowed. Police harassment, illegal camping citations, and city and neighbor complaints all went into making people without homes feel as though they were criminals. Along with the downtown waterfront developments, the increase of homeless people, the issue of decreasing available affordable housing in the area, along with the lawsuit against City and County for not following due process when it comes to handling homeless people's belongings has led to a more tolerant attitude from all involved. They can no longer just push it away and not face it, but at the same time they are also ill-equipped to deal with all the accompanying issues they are facing, so there has been many problems that have arisen because of this.
In the case of the factory wanting their property respected while trying to being tolerant of those staying in the guard rail, they demanded Share House show quick results in getting the unsanitary situation remedied. Share House asked Outsiders Inn to advocate, consult, advise, and this is what I did:
I communicated as a peer with respect. I started in the offices with the leaders of Share and spoke about how the situation with the bags of feces might be able to be avoided with cleaner porta-potties. They agreed and will start to get the porta-potty emptied 4x a week now (increased from 2x a week). They also agreed to do what they can to make the dumpsters available for keeping the trash in the area thrown away properly.
An improvement over this!
Following the Share House conversations, I did the same thing as a peer on the street by talking directly and empowering each individual to be leaders outside as well. I never once blamed, accused or pointed a finger. Everybody was right from their point of view, but I encouraged them to let's find a solution. Now what do we do??
We kept it simple. It's dirty, so clean it up. And clean it up they did! The outsiders took full advantage of the the wonderful trash cans that the MLD Street Love group had recently provided to the guard rail area and started to jump right in to get this situtation turned around. Today we gathered it all into over 40 bags of trash that now fills the dumpster and even more bags waits neatly for the next pickup. Even the brooms were pulled out and the edges were looking sharp! -- All kinds of people have noticed and were blown away with the efforts and progress made!
So we have been informed that the tide has turned and evictions have been averted! We made it right and then empowered individuals by giving them a fresh start and clean slate. Now we encourage them to respect the space they are using or realize they might not have it. Appreciate what you have!
The situation has been a great a win-win-win! Thank you outsiders Sam, Alexander, Tiffany, Dominic, Richard, Clay, Franco, Misty, Greg, and Nick. You all did a WONDERFUL job pitching in and getting it done.
I am deeply honored to be an advocate for the homeless here in Vancouver.